Accidents involving the sudden application of force to the body can result in severe injuries, many of which involve the spine. Unfortunately, the spine is especially vulnerable in an accident, and these injuries can lead to significant long-term health issues.
Leading Reasons Why Spine Injuries Occur
According to the Mayo Clinic, the five leading reasons why spinal cord injuries occur in our country are:
- Motor vehicle crashes and collisions: Crashes and collisions involving vehicles (including motorcycles) account for over 35% of new spinal cord injuries every year
- Falls: Falls are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries for those 65 years of age or older, and they account for over one-quarter of all spinal cord injuries
- Violent acts: The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center states that violent acts account for approximately 15% of all spinal cord injuries. The most common violent acts resulting in spinal cord injuries are gunshots and knife wounds
- Athletic activities: Contact sports like football and diving in shallow water account for approximately 9% of spinal cord injuries
- Disease: Diseases, including occupational diseases, can lead to spinal cord injuries
The Mayo Clinic also notes that alcohol use is a factor in nearly one-quarter of all spinal cord injuries.
Why Spine Injuries Are Serious
Injuries to the spine can have serious long term consequences on an individual. Some of the most drastic include quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and paraplegia, but other health issues may also arise in individuals with spinal cord injuries, or otherwise make those folks more susceptible to serious spinal injury. Some of these conditions include:
- Back pain (particularly in the lower back)
- Bladder dysfunction (sometimes requiring the constant wearing of a catheter)
- Bowel dysfunction
- Spasticity (uncontrollable spasms)
- Syringomyelia (numbness and weakness of the extremities)
- Changes in sexual function, sensitivity and fertility
- Chronic pain
- Difficulty when breathing or coughing
Spinal cord injuries may be defined as being “complete” or “incomplete”. An “incomplete” injury is when there is some sensory (feeling) or motor function (control movement) below the affected area, while “complete” refers to having lost all sensory and motor function below the spinal cord injury.
Seek Help from an Accomplished Oregon Accident Injury Attorney
Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, P.C. is known throughout the state of Oregon for protecting the health and legal rights of individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of another. We have resolved multiple multi-million dollar cases, many of which involved spinal cord injuries, including a $4.4 million semi truck collision verdict.
We invite you to call us today for a free consultation with a spine injury attorney at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, P.C. at (541) 617-0555.